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Concentration: Counseling and Counselor Education

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Program: Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development
Department: Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD)
Delivery Method: On Campus

The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development with a concentration in counseling and counselor education is designed to prepare dedicated, knowledgeable, skillful, ethically responsible, and socially and culturally aware professionals for the 21st century. We seek talented and engaged students, with diverse counseling and counseling-related professional experiences, who are committed to teaching, research, scholarship, technology, leadership, collaboration, advocacy, multiculturalism and equity in counseling and counselor education. Our graduates will become scholars, administrators and leaders who will design, implement and evaluate innovative counseling and educational projects or services focused on the empowerment of marginalized populations and the promotion of equity and fairness worldwide.

Accreditation: NC State is accredited by SACS until 2024 and all Counselor Education programs are accredited by CACREP until March 30, 2030.

Concentration Description

Concentration Description

Founded in 1946, the Counselor Education Program at North Carolina State University has had a long and rich history of contributing to the needs of North Carolina and the nation.

The doctorate – with its combined focus on research, theory and practice – is designed to prepare leaders for the field of Counseling and Counselor Education. All of our on-campus programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The new online masters program is reviewed by CACREP for accreditation.

In addition to the traditional core on developmental theory, coupled with the design and implementation of preventive interventions based on this model, the program focuses on clinical counseling theory and practice. In the design of the curriculum and throughout each course, the student’s competence in theory and practice is important. Students participate in individualized field experiences appropriate to their area of studies, in settings on and away from campus.

Another major focus is the commitment to diversity, which is reflected in the required coursework and faculty-student community. In light of this, we are particularly interested in attracting students from culturally diverse backgrounds. In recent years, we have increased the proportion of culturally different students from less than 5% to almost 20% of our degree candidates. Our curriculum content acknowledges the significance of cross-cultural perspectives in counseling theory, research and practice.


The Counselor Education Program at NC State shares the university’s land grant mission. Through our Scientist-Practitioner and School-College-Community Collaboration Model, we train culturally competent counselors and counselor educators who are able to work collaboratively across settings to effectively lead, serve and advocate for the academic, career, personal and social development of children, adults, families and communities.


Our vision is to further the frontiers of knowledge. Advanced video, computer and networking technologies continue to link Counselor Education graduate students and faculty with regional, state, national and international partners in teaching, research and service endeavors. These efforts are designed to offer hope to individuals with the least access to educational and career opportunities afforded by life in the 21st century.

Concentration Objectives

Counseling and Counselor Education Concentration (doctoral) – Students will demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary to function as counselor educators, supervisors, researchers, and practitioners in academic and clinical settings.

Please note: If you are currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in our College of Education and are interested in pursuing a Ph.D., you must formally apply to the program through the Graduate School.

Applicants are expected to have a master’s degree in counseling or an equivalent degree with master’s level coursework equivalent to that of a 60-credit hour CACREP-accredited program. In addition to the academic credentials attesting to intellectual competence, evidence of successful leadership and outstanding professional commitment are desired.

  • Completed online application, resume and non-refundable application fee
  • GRE exams are required for our Doctoral Degree in Counseling and Counselor Education.
  • Three recommendations from people who know your academic record and potential for graduate study (letters should be uploaded online)
  • A personal statement answering the prompts detailed in the application. Personal statements should not exceed 5 pages, double spaced, using 12 point Times New Roman
  • Official* transcripts of all post-secondary education
  • Official** statement of English Proficiency (TOEFL) for international students
  • Students will be asked to submit a writing sample once application is received

Selection for admission is based on a number of considerations:

  1. Academic achievement, especially in the junior and senior undergraduate years, and performance in any graduate courses, are carefully evaluated for evidence of competence in intellectual inquiry. For PhD students, a 60-credit hour counseling degree or equivalent master’s program and coursework is required.
  2. Performance ratings and recommendations from professors and supervisory personnel are also carefully examined for evidence of personal qualities requisite for professional competence.
  3. Demonstrated leadership activity and/or significant work experience represent additional important factors.
  4. Interview process – all doctoral candidates are expected to be interviewed, barring significant geographical distances.

Applications and all supporting documents must be received on or before the Graduate School Priority Deadlines or the Program Deadlines.  International students should also consider their specific deadlines, whichever is earlier. For questions, contact us via or 919.515.2244.

Ph.D. programs in the College of Education require a minimum of 60 graduate credit hours beyond an approved master’s degree.

This concentration consists of a Theory Core, Research Core, Professional Applications Core and Specialization, all of which extend the knowledge base of the counseling profession in a community of scholarly inquiry and engagement.

Course descriptions can be found in the university course catalog.

COLLEGE CORE COURSES (Total:  21 Credits)

Scholar Leaders Courses (6 credits)

  • ED 755  Scholar Leader: Diversity and Equity in Schools and Community
  • ED 756  Scholar Leader: Systemic Change in Education and Society

Required College Research Methods  (15 credits)

  • ED 710  Applied Quantitative Methods in Education, or equivalent
  • ED 730  Introduction to Qualitative Research in Ed, or equivalent
  • ECD 736  Advanced Assessment in Counseling
  • ECD 738  Research in Counselor Education

At least ONE of the following research method courses:

  • ED 711 Applied Quantitative Methods in Education II or
  • ED 731 Advanced Qualitative Research and Data Analysis in Ed or
  • ED 750 Mixed Methods Research in Education

Note: Student areas of research are typically focused around technology and other best practices in school, college and clinical mental health counseling and counselor education; domestic and international diversity; and advocacy and equity. Students are highly encouraged to develop inter-disciplinary scholarship through their dissertations and other research expectations. Doctoral students work closely with faculty in designing, implementing and evaluating innovative educational and research projects in response to the needs of society.

Ph.D CORE COURSES (Total:  28 Credits)

Scholar Core Required Courses (6 credits)

  • ECD 732 Advanced Multicultural Counseling
  • ECD 860 Professional Issues in Counselor Education

Concentration Courses (22 credits)

  • ECD 731 Career Development Theory and Research
  • ECD 735 Counseling Supervision: Theory and Research
  • ECD 843 Advanced Counseling Practicum
  • ECD 847 Counseling Supervision: Practicum
  • ECD 850 Internship in Counselor Education
  • ECD 886 Supervised Practice Teaching in Counselor Education

Dissertation Research (Total:  9 Credits)

  • ECD 895 Doctoral Dissertation Research (minimum of 6 cr.)
  • ECD 899 Doctoral Dissertation Preparation (3 cr.) (Final Semester before Graduation)

Note: A thesis equivalent for those not having completed a thesis during their master’s program is a co-requisite: (ECD 893: Doctoral Supervised Research 2 cr.).


Writing the dissertation requires a major commitment of time and effort on both the part of the doctoral student and the faculty advisor. There should be consultation between the student and the dissertation chair about what is expected to be accomplished, and how much time is to be invested before the student registers. The College of Education strongly recommends that students who are registering for dissertation research (895) or preparation (899) register for at least 3 semester hours per semester, when appropriate.

  • Stanley Baker, Professor of Counselor Education, Counselor Education Program, Coordinator of the School Counseling Program, Adviser to the Nu Sigma Chi Chapter of the Chi Sigma Iota Counseling and Academic Honor Society International, ELPHD Department
  • Cristina Braga, Assistant Teaching Professor, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department
  • Nicole Childs, Assistant Teaching Professor, GCCE Coordinator, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department
  • Adria Shipp Dunbar, Assistant Professor, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department
  • Marc Grimmett, Professor, Associate Department Head, Coordinator of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department
  • Rolanda Mitchell, Assistant Teaching Professor, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department
  • Sylvia Nassar, Professor, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department
  • Brean’a Parker, Assistant Professor, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department
  • Jose Picart, Senior Faculty Fellow, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, Professor of Counselor Education, ELPHD Department and Executive Director, Wake Partnership for Postsecondary Success
  • Angela Smith, Associate Teaching Professor, Coordinator of Counselor Education Program, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department
  • Terri Tilford, Assistant Teaching Professor, Clinical Coordinator, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department
  • Siu-Man Raymond Ting, Professor, and Director of Graduate Programs, On-Campus College Counseling and Student Development Coordinator, ELPHD Department
  • Elizabeth Vincent, Assistant Teaching Professor, Clinical Coordinator, Counselor Education, ELPHD Department

Current student forms may be found here.

For a complete and detailed description of the concentration’s objectives and organization, as well as regulations, procedures and resources for all students, please refer to the Counselor Education Student Handbook 2020-2021.

Counseling Program_Student Outcomes

CE Program Annual Report 2018-2019 Counselor Education Program Report

For Counseling and Counselor Education Program student outcomes, click here.

Admission/Information Session

Join us for a College-Wide Graduate Student Open House on Oct. 9 or Nov. 16, 2023, 6:30 to 8 p.m. 


Still have questions? Complete the form below or contact us.